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Power Strips Confiscated

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3 minutes ago, Colgate59 said:

 If there is a surge or short in the item plugged into the board it can catch fire.  The board will not isolate the power.

Again, this is not quite correct with regards to how a surge protector works, or a consumer power strip works, on a ship.

 

If the device plugged into the power strip develops a short, the breaker in the power strip will isolate the hot wire, and even though voltage will be present in the "neutral" wire, with the hot wire interrupted, there will be no current flow.  If the device plugged into the power strip develops a ground, then there would be current flowing from "neutral" to ground, so if this device has no separate ground (third pin on plug), then you could receive a shock until the ship's breaker trips the "neutral".

 

If there were a power surge (which doesn't happen at the levels required for a surge protector to operate at) on the ship, this would not cause the surge protector to catch fire, it would work normally.  The fire danger from a surge protector on a ship comes from the "floating ground", where the ground could be at higher voltage than the power legs, due to a ground fault anywhere else on the ship, completely out of your control, and your perfectly fine, brand new, surge protector is subjected to reverse voltage, and this causes the semiconductors in the surge protector to overheat, even at low current flows, and catch fire.

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Thanks for the complete explanation.  End result remains, those who say they get away with taking one about need to understand the risk and not do it.  It is akin to smoking in a cabin.  People still do it and have a total disregard for others.  

Cheers

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5 hours ago, triple7tahoe said:

We were asked to come to the naughty room on our cruise on the Majestic Princess earlier this year; I figured they were going to take our tea pot (which we have taken on over 100 cruises with no problem) only to find they were taking our power strip. It was returned as we left the ship on the last day (of that cruise). Since we were sailing B2B cruises, it was taken again as we reboarded 🙂  Finally got it back some three weeks later when we got off in Hong Kong.

But yet your tea pot made it aboard both cruises.

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Just to get back on topic, and as a reminder, how can one tell if their power strip is or is not "surge protected". I think 99% of us would simply choose to take one non protected.

 

Thanks

 Doug

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So I have the 4 Outlet Monster Power Outlet to Go power strip.  This was what was suggested to me for ship use a few years back.  The specs state that it has a re-settable circuit breaker, but it does not have a surge protector.

 

When I looked into it from what I could find the circuit breaker basically prevents the items i plug into it from drawing more power then the strip can handle.  A surge protector is designed to prevent power surges coming down the line, from the power source.

 

From what I was able to find a Circuit Breaker was fine on the ship where a surge protector was not.

 

I have never had an issue with this being taken away however now I am wondering if my information is correct and if this strip is technically "safe" to use on a ship?

 

TIA for any info anyone can provide. 

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1 hour ago, PaperSniper4 said:

Just to get back on topic, and as a reminder, how can one tell if their power strip is or is not "surge protected". I think 99% of us would simply choose to take one non protected.

 

Thanks

 Doug

If a device is surge protected, it will have some data on the back with words like "VPN=xxx v" (VPN is a measure of surge protection), "Clamping Voltage= xxx v" (same as VPN, or "Joules of protection" (how much energy the surge protector can handle.

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46 minutes ago, jpom18 said:

So I have the 4 Outlet Monster Power Outlet to Go power strip.  This was what was suggested to me for ship use a few years back.  The specs state that it has a re-settable circuit breaker, but it does not have a surge protector.

 

When I looked into it from what I could find the circuit breaker basically prevents the items i plug into it from drawing more power then the strip can handle.  A surge protector is designed to prevent power surges coming down the line, from the power source.

 

From what I was able to find a Circuit Breaker was fine on the ship where a surge protector was not.

 

I have never had an issue with this being taken away however now I am wondering if my information is correct and if this strip is technically "safe" to use on a ship?

 

TIA for any info anyone can provide. 

This is the problem with lay people describing surge protectors.  A circuit breaker limits the current a device can draw, regardless of how high the voltage goes.  A surge protector protects against very high voltage, regardless of how high or low the current is.

 

But, to answer your question, yes that Monster power strip is okay.   Yes, circuit breakers are fine, surge protectors are a hazard.  I would say that some lines, RCI in particular, do not allow any power strips.

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40 minutes ago, jpom18 said:

So I have the 4 Outlet Monster Power Outlet to Go power strip.  This was what was suggested to me for ship use a few years back.  The specs state that it has a re-settable circuit breaker, but it does not have a surge protector.

 

When I looked into it from what I could find the circuit breaker basically prevents the items i plug into it from drawing more power then the strip can handle.  A surge protector is designed to prevent power surges coming down the line, from the power source.

 

From what I was able to find a Circuit Breaker was fine on the ship where a surge protector was not.

 

I have never had an issue with this being taken away however now I am wondering if my information is correct and if this strip is technically "safe" to use on a ship?

 

TIA for any info anyone can provide. 

 

There are two issues here.

 

• If there is a MOV in the guts, it can (read as "unpredictably and eventually will") get hot enough to ignite a fire if plugged into ship's wiring.  The "why" is *NOT* as important as "they have".

 

• You cannot tell by looking at the outside a power strip that it definitely does not.  Nor can an average luggage screener tell even if he took it apart.

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

If a device is surge protected, it will have some data on the back with words like "VPN=xxx v" (VPN is a measure of surge protection), "Clamping Voltage= xxx v" (same as VPN, or "Joules of protection" (how much energy the surge protector can handle.

 

ChENG?  Not true.

 

If it has such marking, yes it's supposed to have surge protection,  *BUT* there is no requirement the other way around, is there?

 

Let's call them "low-end Asian makers" don't do their own engineering and do copy surge protected powerstrip guts without marking them so.

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15 minutes ago, Haboob said:

 

ChENG?  Not true.

 

If it has such marking, yes it's supposed to have surge protection,  *BUT* there is no requirement the other way around, is there?

 

Let's call them "low-end Asian makers" don't do their own engineering and do copy surge protected powerstrip guts without marking them so.

Most low end manufacturers will not install surge protection as it will add to the manufacturing cost, and if they don't market it as such, there isn't any reason to add this.

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On 7/28/2019 at 1:27 PM, chengkp75 said:

This is not totally correct.  While the power strip will only disconnect the hot lead, if the neutral wire to the power strip becomes overloaded, the ship's circuit breaker, which does disconnect both power leads, will trip to provide safety.

 

There is no neutral lead in ships 120 volt wiring so if the surge protector trips only one of the hot sides is disconnected.

See the following for details https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO Documents/5p/CSNCOE/Safety Alerts/USCG Marine Safety Alert 03-13 Surge Protective Devices Onboard Vessels.pdf?ver=2017-08-08-082206-293

Edited by brisalta
edit

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3 hours ago, jpom18 said:

So I have the 4 Outlet Monster Power Outlet to Go power strip.  This was what was suggested to me for ship use a few years back.  The specs state that it has a re-settable circuit breaker, but it does not have a surge protector.

 

When I looked into it from what I could find the circuit breaker basically prevents the items i plug into it from drawing more power then the strip can handle.  A surge protector is designed to prevent power surges coming down the line, from the power source.

 

From what I was able to find a Circuit Breaker was fine on the ship where a surge protector was not.

 

I have never had an issue with this being taken away however now I am wondering if my information is correct and if this strip is technically "safe" to use on a ship?

 

TIA for any info anyone can provide. 

 

If the circuit breaker is only on one of the lines then it is a problem as 120 volt AC on a ship does not have a neutral line. Both of the lines float at 60+- v so a circuit breaker would need to break both sides to be safe.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Most low end manufacturers will not install surge protection as it will add to the manufacturing cost, and if they don't market it as such, there isn't any reason to add this.

 

Yup.   Keyword: "most"

 

"Most of those parachutes will open when you pull the ripcord"?

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30 minutes ago, brisalta said:

 

There is no neutral lead in ships 120 volt wiring so if the surge protector trips only one of the hot sides is disconnected.

See the following for details https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO Documents/5p/CSNCOE/Safety Alerts/USCG Marine Safety Alert 03-13 Surge Protective Devices Onboard Vessels.pdf?ver=2017-08-08-082206-293

A surge protector does not "trip" any connection.  Unfortunately, the USCG Safety Notice, that I've referenced several times in this thread, does not differentiate between the dangers of a surge protector and the dangers of a land based power strip.  A surge protector has semiconductors that bridge between line and ground.  When the line voltage gets above the "clamping voltage" of the semiconductor, it changes from infinite resistance to zero resistance, and the voltage is grounded, protecting your electronics.  Nothing trips, and nothing needs to be reset, when the voltage drops the semiconductors again stop conducting.  Many surge protectors also use a semiconductor from neutral to ground as a further safety feature.

 

Further, the types of voltage surges seen on land (lightning, or a blown pole transformer (10k to 220 volt) do not happen on ships, so this is why there is no need for surge protectors, and none are fitted on any of the ship's electronics.

Edited by chengkp75

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25 minutes ago, brisalta said:

 

If the circuit breaker is only on one of the lines then it is a problem as 120 volt AC on a ship does not have a neutral line. Both of the lines float at 60+- v so a circuit breaker would need to break both sides to be safe.

However, the ship's circuit breaker, that the power strip is plugged into, does break both wires of the circuit.

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1 minute ago, chengkp75 said:

A surge protector does not "trip" any connection.  Unfortunately, the USCG Safety Notice, that I've referenced several times in this thread, does not differentiate between the dangers of a surge protector and the dangers of a land based power strip.  A surge protector has semiconductors that bridge between line and ground.  When the line voltage gets above the "clamping voltage" of the semiconductor, it changes from infinite resistance to zero resistance, and the voltage is grounded, protecting your electronics.  Nothing trips, and nothing needs to be reset, when the voltage drops the semiconductors again stop conducting.  Many surge protectors also use a semiconductor from neutral to ground as a further safety feature.

 

I know that. I was trying to keep it simple for those without electronic knowledge.

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Just now, chengkp75 said:

However, the ship's circuit breaker, that the power strip is plugged into, does break both wires of the circuit.

 

Except that the ships breaker might trigger at a higher current than his power strip that has a circuit breaker. That may result in him thinking the strip is not hot but end up with a nice shock if played with after the circuit breaker tripped in the strip assuming the ship is wired delta.

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1 minute ago, brisalta said:

 

Except that the ships breaker might trigger at a higher current than his power strip that has a circuit breaker. That may result in him thinking the strip is not hot but end up with a nice shock if played with after the circuit breaker tripped in the strip assuming the ship is wired delta.

I believe most power strips are rated at 15 amps, in accordance with standard US practice, and shipboard breakers and wiring is rated the same.  If the failure is a short in the appliance, then tripping the hot leg of the power strip will interrupt the flow of current, and unless there is an additional ground fault, it doesn't matter if the "neutral" is still hot.  If there is a ground fault, which would be how you get a shock after the power strip breaker trips, then current from the still hot "neutral" leg will flow to ground, and the ship's breaker will trip.  As I stated, the only danger comes when you plug a two-wire appliance into a delta wired circuit, as there is no longer any ground protection.

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

If a device is surge protected, it will have some data on the back with words like "VPN=xxx v" (VPN is a measure of surge protection), "Clamping Voltage= xxx v" (same as VPN, or "Joules of protection" (how much energy the surge protector can handle.

 

Thanks very much. I'm going to go check he power strip I keep in our "cruise luggage" for compliance.  We use that for charging cameras, laptops, etc. We also bring an old fashioned extension cord with 3 outlets which I understand does not have any kind of surge protection. That's our back-up for my wife's COPD machine if the ship cannot supply us with an extension cord.

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This is a good topic and there are some very good posts and solutions.  We have used a great power block for years and have packed into our carry-on luggage without a problem.  It had three 120v. outlets and four USB ports.  Perfect to handle all our laptop, iPad, iPhones and Apple watch needs.

Recently, I checked the specs on the block and it indeed had surge protection built in. Realizing the potential issues of safety and probable confiscation of the block for non-conformity to the rules we purchased a great power block that had the same capability and a slightly lower footprint for around $25.  It will make its maiden voyage in September aboard the Crown Princess out of Southampton.

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6 hours ago, Grego said:

This is a good topic and there are some very good posts and solutions.  We have used a great power block for years and have packed into our carry-on luggage without a problem.  It had three 120v. outlets and four USB ports.  Perfect to handle all our laptop, iPad, iPhones and Apple watch needs.

Recently, I checked the specs on the block and it indeed had surge protection built in. Realizing the potential issues of safety and probable confiscation of the block for non-conformity to the rules we purchased a great power block that had the same capability and a slightly lower footprint for around $25.  It will make its maiden voyage in September aboard the Crown Princess out of Southampton.

Got a link for those who might want to get one also?

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7 hours ago, Grego said:

This is a good topic and there are some very good posts and solutions.  We have used a great power block for years and have packed into our carry-on luggage without a problem.  It had three 120v. outlets and four USB ports.  Perfect to handle all our laptop, iPad, iPhones and Apple watch needs.

Recently, I checked the specs on the block and it indeed had surge protection built in. Realizing the potential issues of safety and probable confiscation of the block for non-conformity to the rules we purchased a great power block that had the same capability and a slightly lower footprint for around $25.  It will make its maiden voyage in September aboard the Crown Princess out of Southampton.

The only issue with that is what you and I think is OK is at the mercy of the terminal/ship personal who will inspect it so it really doesn't matter. If they think it is prohibited you will not win that argument.   

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19 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

The only issue with that is what you and I think is OK is at the mercy of the terminal/ship personal who will inspect it so it really doesn't matter. If they think it is prohibited you will not win that argument.   

👍 How true. I wish I had taken something on our last cruise. It had only one 110 volt outlet and one 220 foreign one. I am going to pack an adapter to turn the 220 into 110 for an extra outlet. Nothing else, just in case. It may not be allowed either.

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3 hours ago, ecs66 said:

Would be better if it had big letters "NOT Surge Protected". 😉

 

The trouble I've had with devices of this type is that the location of available AC outlets is sometimes such that it won't fit in the available sockets.

 

That's why I've always used a power strip with a short cord. Unfortunately, it looks just like every other surge protected power strip and might be confiscated.

 

My latest buy is this from Amazon along with a basic cube tap of some sort (used as needed). I'll see how this works next time.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FRODUR4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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